Summary: 75% in this parable didn’t truly get saved. Was the problem the Sower, the Seed, or the Soil? 25% did get saved, and we can see how! Link included to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint Template.

Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Sow what? The Word of God! Sow when? All the time! Sow where? Everywhere…but hopefully on good ground!

This parable answers the question, “Why doesn’t everybody get saved?” As tremendous as salvation is, it’s a wonder that so many do not get saved.

Ill.—if you were Governor and you went to a prison and offered every single inmate a pardon, you’d expect every single inmate to accept the offer…so why do many turn down the Lord?

What is a parable, and why did Jesus teach in parables?

Parable = ‘to place alongside of’. It’s an illustration alongside a truth. It’s an earthly story with heavenly meaning. It’s a physical illustration of a spiritual concept. You see, we live in the physical, and don’t often exercise the spiritual part of us. So these illustrations help the light to come on in our understanding in our spirits.

So, why teach in parables? The disciples wondered the same thing…

v. 10.

v. 11-12 Jesus says there’s 2 reasons I teach in parables:

To reveal and to conceal.

To reveal truth to those who have accepted Him and to conceal truth from those who have rejected Him.

The principle applies to us today: if you respond positively to what light God has given you, then God will give you more light. But if you reject the light, you won’t get any more light. If you fail to step into the light shone before you, no more is offered. If you obey the truth you know, God will share more truth with you…but if you don’t, then why should God give you more?

There’s no skipping steps with God. You cannot bypass the process He has set for us.

Psalms 37:23

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD…

Some people say they stopped growing in the Lord at a certain time. They were going forward, but then it seemed to plateau and level off. If I were you I’d go back to that time and see if there was a command you never have obeyed. You cannot circumvent that truth. The train stops here until we meet the requirements to go forward.

God does not reveal truth to us so that we may consider it, but that we might obey it. “Use it or lose it!”

Jesus came to His own in Israel and they rejected Him, so now he goes to the individuals, and uses parables to conceal the truth from those who don’t want to believe, and to reveal truth to those seeking more light.

Tonight we see 3 elements to this first parable: the sower, the seed, and the soil.

Notice that only 25% of the seed ends up being successful. 75% didn’t take. So, what’s the problem?

The seed? Is it the problem? No, v. 19-20 say the seed is the Word of God. It is inerrant, infallible, and inspired. Now granted, we don’t want to use a watered down Word…and many translations and paraphrases unfortunately do just that…but ultimately the God breathed Word of God is perfect, and so powerful that even well meaning but misguided interpreters cannot undo it even with many unfortunate renderings they apply to it often times.

Consider the power contained in just a little seed. If I were to hold a few apple seeds in my hand, there would be the possibility of an entire orchard. That’s exciting, because even if I only preach to a handful of folks tonite if I can just get some seeds planted they can spread and reproduce and be fruitful for ages to come!

The seed of the Word is daily carried all around the world online with little effort…imagine what we could do if we tried!

Within the acorn is the potential of a mighty oak tree.

1 Peter 1:23

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

There’s no problem with the seed.

Ill.—not long ago they found a seed deep within a pyramid in Egypt. It was estimated to be 3,000 years old. Just for the fun of it they planted it to see if it would grow and reproduce, and it did!

The Bible is the seed, and in it is amazing potential. Each of our s.s. teachers scatters seed each week. Children’s workers and WOL Club leaders / radio opportunities / choir member playing practice CD at work! / missionaries we send out / sermons preached here and in thousands of other places…

We’re privileged to be one of places still seeing souls saved, though not as many as we’d like, it’s much more than so many…and how is that possible? By scattering a lot of seed!

God has promised that His Word will not return void.

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Don Jones

commented on Jan 8, 2007

Simple and Excellent.

Luis Acosta

commented on Mar 28, 2008

Pastor Jerry, As usual, the sermon in biblical, insightful, practical and God-honoring.

Jon Mackinney

commented on Feb 16, 2010

I have learned to look for Jerry Shirley, and to expect clear Biblical teaching. Thanks for the great job you did with this text!

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